Last month at Reasons and Opinions, I discussed the issue of Sam Brownback and evolution. Out of the ten Republican presidential hopefuls, the Catholic senator was one of three to put up his hand when asked who did not believe in evolution. I’ll recap the basic issue here, and then address Brownback’s latest statement on the topic.How should a Catholic treat this topic? Well, there is no inherent conflict between faith and evolution, as long as boundaries are respected. A… Read more

Of the three thinkers represented here, it is likely that most readers will have more familiarity with St Thomas Aquinas than Joseph de Maistre or Konstantin Pobedonostsev. While his comments do not directly respond to later political developments, his ideas have had a tremendous influence on that history, and what he says cannot be easily dismissed. Moreover, because later, modern critics of democratic societies such as de Maistre and Pobedonostsev elaborate upon ideas found within Thomas, it is best to… Read more

We live in an era of human history quite unlike any other; in the so-called most advanced nations, that is in the West, politics more than traditional religion defines the way most people perceive their place in the world. Supernatural beliefs, at best, are treated as secondary, private concerns of individuals and have no place in extending their influence into the public sphere. If there is some public wrong which needs to be fixed, one does not look for “religious… Read more

Andrew Sullivan is creating quite a stir on the internet with his post on the Gestapo’s interrogation techniques. Loosely translated as “enhanced interrogation techniques” they include food deprivation, hard beds, dark cells (sensory deprivation), sleep deprivation, and exhaustion exercises. Sullivan notes that the guidelines are quite strict about when these techniques can be used, and that the idea was to torture in a way that left no marks. Of course, if these “techniques” are familiar, it is because they are… Read more

H/T: Amy WelbornIt took place yesterday in Dora quarter; in a convent of the Chaldean sisters ofthe Sacred Heart. Local sources tell AsiaNews that Shiite groups are suspected,as they mimic the fierce Sunni campaign of persecution against Christians in thecapital. Today the first session of the Chaldean Church Synod opens in al Qosh.(more…) Read more

Worried that we may soon have to pay $4/gal? Well, if we do end up paying that much, it seems that we would only be in the middle of the pack when we start looking at global gas prices:Source: CNN MoneyNetherlands, Amsterdam……………………… $6.48 Norway, Oslo………………………………………… $6.27Italy, Milan…………………………………………… $5.96Denmark, Copenhagen…………………………. $5.93Belgium, Brussels…………………………………. $5.91Sweden, Stockholm………………………………. $5.80United, Kingdom London………………………. $5.79Germany, Frankfurt……………………………… $5.57France, Paris………………………………………… $5.54Portugal, Lisbon……………………………………. $5.35Hungary, Budapest………………………………. $4.94Luxembourg…………………………………………. $4.82Croatia, Zagreb…………………………………….. $4.81Ireland, Dublin…………………………………….. $4.78Switzerland, Geneva……………………………. $4.74Spain, Madrid………………………………………. $4.55Japan, Tokyo………………………………………. $4.24Czech Republic, Prague……………………….. $4.19Romania, Bucharest………………………………. Read more

The UN security council voted to establish an international criminal tribunal to prosecute the murderers of Rafik Hariri. This is momentous. For a start, it is a first for the Middle East. More significantly, it is well known that complicity in Hariri’s murder extends to the very top of the Syrian regime. As the murdered prime minister’s son Saad Hariri (leader of the Sunni-Christian-Druze political alliance) noted: “We’re asking for justice, not for revenge.” For all its faults, the UN… Read more

Source: NPR Nice. In President Bush’s words:Bringing progress and prosperity to struggling nations requires growing amounts of energy. It’s hard to grow your economy if you don’t have energy. Yet, producing that energy can create environmental challenges for the world. We need to harness the power of technology to help nations meet their growing energy needs while protecting the environment and addressing the challenge of global climate change.In recent years, science has deepened our understanding of climate change and opened… Read more

Source: International Herald TribuneWASHINGTON: President George W. Bush has called on Congress to spend $30 million to fight global AIDS over the next five years, a near-doubling of financing that is part of a White House effort to burnish Bush’s humanitarian credentials before he meets leaders of the Group of 8 industrialized nations next week.European critics claim that it was time the U.S. would step up to the plate. For some time, the U.S. had been giving a much lower… Read more

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